B-140153, OCT. 28, 1959

B-140153: Oct 28, 1959

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 29. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT A DECISION COULD NOT BE RENDERED ON YOUR REQUEST FOR THE REASON THAT YOU HAD ALREADY PAID AN IDENTICAL VOUCHER. ADVISED US THAT THE CHECK ISSUED IN PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHER WAS NOT DELIVERED TO THE PAYEE AND THAT IT WAS CANCELLED ON COLLECTION VOUCHER NO. 431. WERE ORDERED TO TEMPORARY DUTY BEGINNING ON OR ABOUT JULY 10. THE ORDERS STATED THAT PER DIEM WAS AUTHORIZED. IT IS REPORTED THAT HE DEPARTED FROM MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE ON JULY 10. HIS CLAIM IS FOR PER DIEM FOR THAT PERIOD. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT TRANSPORTATION WAS FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND A CERTIFICATE HAS BEEN FURNISHED STATING THAT HE WAS NOT FURNISHED GOVERNMENT MEALS OR QUARTERS FROM JULY 10 THROUGH AUGUST 8.

B-140153, OCT. 28, 1959

TO CAPTAIN J. COFFMAN, USAF, ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 29, 1959, PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 59-29, SUBMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF STAFF SERGEANT LEON J. BONNETT, AF 20 415 431, COVERING PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR THE PERIOD JULY 10 TO AUGUST 28, 1957.

UNDER DATE OF SEPTEMBER 9, 1959, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT A DECISION COULD NOT BE RENDERED ON YOUR REQUEST FOR THE REASON THAT YOU HAD ALREADY PAID AN IDENTICAL VOUCHER, NUMBERED 8848, ON AUGUST 1, 1958. HOWEVER, IN LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1959, HEADQUARTERS, AIR UNIVERSITY, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, ALABAMA, ADVISED US THAT THE CHECK ISSUED IN PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHER WAS NOT DELIVERED TO THE PAYEE AND THAT IT WAS CANCELLED ON COLLECTION VOUCHER NO. 431, DATED AUGUST 8, 1958. VIEW OF THAT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, A DECISION MAY NOW BE RENDERED TO YOU.

BY LETTER ORDERS 189-1, DATED JULY 8, 1957, AS AMENDED, THE MEMBER AND CERTAIN OTHERS STATIONED AT MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, ALABAMA, WERE ORDERED TO TEMPORARY DUTY BEGINNING ON OR ABOUT JULY 10, 1957, AND TO EXTEND THROUGH AUGUST 28, 1957, FOR THE PURPOSE OF OPERATING RED CROSS MESSES IN THE DISASTER AREA OF LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA. THE ORDERS STATED THAT PER DIEM WAS AUTHORIZED. IT IS REPORTED THAT HE DEPARTED FROM MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE ON JULY 10, 1957, AND RETURNED TO THAT PLACE ON AUGUST 28, 1957, TEMPORARY DUTY BEING PERFORMED AT CAMERON, LOUISIANA. HIS CLAIM IS FOR PER DIEM FOR THAT PERIOD. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT TRANSPORTATION WAS FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND A CERTIFICATE HAS BEEN FURNISHED STATING THAT HE WAS NOT FURNISHED GOVERNMENT MEALS OR QUARTERS FROM JULY 10 THROUGH AUGUST 8, 1957, AND FROM AUGUST 10 THROUGH AUGUST 27, 1957. IT IS STATED THAT DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE CLAIM THE MEMBER WAS NOT PAID A SEPARATE RATIONS ALLOWANCE. WHILE HE WAS IN THE AREA OF THE DISASTER (CAUSED BY HURRICANE AUDREY) SERGEANT BONNETT SERVED UNDER RED CROSS SUPERVISION. HE PARTICIPATED IN ERECTING TENTAGE AND HELPED TO OPERATE EMERGENCY FIELD KITCHENS FOR LOCAL INHABITANTS. IT FURTHER IS STATED THAT WHILE SOME MEALS AND TENTS WERE PROVIDED FOR SERVICEMEN BY THE RED CROSS, THE AIRMAN HERE INVOLVED "EXERCISED THE OPTION TO OBTAIN MEALS AND QUARTERS IN NEARBY TOWNS.' YOUR QUESTION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT ARISES FROM DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE DUTY PERFORMED WAS FIELD DUTY OR OTHER SIMILAR ACTIVITY WITHIN THE MEANING OF PARAGRAPH 4201-6 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE DUTY HERE INVOLVED IS NOT REGARDED AS BEING OF THE TYPE MENTIONED IN THE ABOVE CITED REGULATIONS. HOWEVER, INDEPENDENTLY OF YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION, OUR DEFENSE ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING DIVISION HAS RAISED A QUESTION AS TO WHETHER PER DIEM IS PAYABLE AT THE $12 RATE STATED IN THE VOUCHER. IN A REPORT TO OUR AIR FORCE AUDIT BRANCH DATED JUNE 18, 1959, FROM CHENNAULT AIR FORCE BASE, LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA, IT WAS STATED THAT THE PERSONNEL ASSISTING AT "CAMERON SLEPT IN ARMY TENTS AND ATE FROM THE FIELD KITCHENS THEY WERE OPERATING FOR THE RED CROSS.' PARAGRAPHS 1150 (4) AND (5) OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT MESS AND QUARTERS FURNISHED BY A GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR ON A COMPLIMENTARY BASIS WILL BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT. THE PRESENT CASE, WHILE A GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR WAS NOT INVOLVED, IT IS APPARENT THAT QUARTERS WERE MADE AVAILABLE IN THE FORM OF ARMY TENTS AND THAT MEALS WERE MADE AVAILABLE TO ENLISTED MEN IN THE DISASTER AREA ON A COMPLIMENTARY BASIS BY THE RED CROSS. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT APPEARS REASONABLE TO CONSIDER THAT SUBSISTENCE AND QUARTERS WERE MADE AVAILABLE ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT. IF, CONTRARY TO THE ABOVE REPORT, THIS PARTICULAR AIRMAN PURCHASED ANY OF HIS MEALS AND QUARTERS AT HIS OWN EXPENSE, IT IS CLEAR THAT HE DID NOT HAVE TO USE HIS OWN FUNDS FOR THAT PURPOSE SINCE MEALS AND QUARTERS ADEQUATE FOR THE OCCASION WERE AVAILABLE AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND WOULD HAVE BEEN FURNISHED WITHOUT CHARGE. THE AIRMAN IS ENTITLED TO NO MORE PER DIEM THAN IS PRESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH 4205-5C (2) OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IT BEING DEEMED PROPER TO TAKE THE VIEW THAT IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES DISCLOSED, QUARTERS AND MEALS WERE EITHER MADE AVAILABLE OR WERE FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SUCH REGULATIONS. COMPARE IN THIS CONNECTION 21 COMP. GEN. 1065, 30 ID. 246.

IF THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, IS ADJUSTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING, PAYMENT THEREON IS AUTHORIZED.